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Open Access Publications from the University of California

β -Decay spectrum, response function and statistical model for neutrino mass measurements with the KATRIN experiment

  • Author(s): Kleesiek, M;
  • Behrens, J;
  • Drexlin, G;
  • Eitel, K;
  • Erhard, M;
  • Formaggio, JA;
  • Glück, F;
  • Groh, S;
  • Hötzel, M;
  • Mertens, S;
  • Poon, AWP;
  • Weinheimer, C;
  • Valerius, K
  • et al.

The objective of the Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino (KATRIN) experiment is to determine the effective electron neutrino mass m(ν e ) with an unprecedented sensitivity of 0.2 eV / c 2 (90%C.L.) by precision electron spectroscopy close to the endpoint of the β -decay of tritium. We present a consistent theoretical description of the β -electron energy spectrum in the endpoint region, an accurate model of the apparatus response function, and the statistical approaches suited to interpret and analyze tritium β -decay data observed with KATRIN with the envisaged precision. In addition to providing detailed analytical expressions for all formulae used in the presented model framework with the necessary detail of derivation, we discuss and quantify the impact of theoretical and experimental corrections on the measured m(ν e ). Finally, we outline the statistical methods for parameter inference and the construction of confidence intervals that are appropriate for a neutrino mass measurement with KATRIN. In this context, we briefly discuss the choice of the β -energy analysis interval and the distribution of measuring time within that range.

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